Create a hidden retreat

How to make every detail count in a tiny urban backyard

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  • A fountain that burbles in a channel of warm-hued stones and a metallic sculpture that hangs on the fence are rugged yet elegant finishing touches for the compact backyard.

    Private spa retreat

    Rob D. Brodaman

    Click to Enlarge


Play with paving
Drees chose 18- by 18-inch tiles of Connecticut bluestone, which contain shades of cool blues and rust. To echo the pavers' warm tones, she edged the patio with a channel of apricot-hued cobbles.

Think vertically
To create privacy, the designer planted columnar trees around the garden's perimeter and trained vines to climb arbors and trellises. That leaves the center of the garden more open for outdoor living.

Keep the color scheme simple
A minimal plant palette that's primarily green with a few hits of color blurs the boundaries behind patio, pergola, and arbor, and provides a restful backdrop.

Fresh Dirt: Get the latest tips, tricks, and planting ideas
on our garden blog.


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